NewsBiden orders strike on Iran-backed militias in Iraq after traumatic attack on US base

Biden orders strike on Iran-backed militias in Iraq after traumatic attack on US base

The American F-16 patrols the territory of Iraq. Illustrative photo.
The American F-16 patrols the territory of Iraq. Illustrative photo.
Images source: © Getty Images | Getty Images
4:56 AM EST, January 24, 2024

The United States executed airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Iraq on Tuesday, according to ABS News. The airstrikes were in response to an attack that occurred on the Al-Assad air base on Sunday, which led to four US soldiers sustaining traumatic brain injuries.

"Today, under President Biden's instructions, the U.S. military executed necessary and proportionate counterattacks against three facilities in use by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia and other groups with ties to Iran in Iraq. These precise counterattacks are a direct response to a series of attacks on U.S. personnel and coalition members in Iraq and Syria carried out by Iran-propagated militias," announced U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

"The President and I won't hesitate to take necessary measures to safeguard our interests and those of our servicemen," stated Austin. "We do not intend to exacerbate the regional conflict. However, we stand ready to act further to protect our people and our facilities. We urge these groups, along with their Iranian sponsors, to cease these attacks immediately," the Secretary of Defense explained.

The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin
The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin© Getty Images | 2023 Getty Images

A total of 17 ballistic missiles and rockets targeted the U.S. air base in Iraq on Sunday. American officials reported that the majority were intercepted, but two missiles were able to breach the U.S. air defense. The Pentagon reported that the attack resulted in some structural damage to "non-critical facilities". Four American soldiers were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following the attack.

According to ABC News, around 2,500 U.S. soldiers are stationed in Iraq. In addition, Washington holds a military presence in Syria with about 900 troops. The American broadcaster states that U.S. forces in these regions aim to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State.

Source: ABC News

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